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What is it? The voter turnout for the by-poll for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat in Jammu & Kashmir.

Why is it important? It is even less than the 26% polling during 2014’s general election. The meagre turnout was marked by violence, as eight people were killed and 100 security personnel injured. It followed separatists’ call for boycotting the polls, and the resultant mob which resorted to arson.

Tell me more: By polls were also conducted in 10 assembly constituencies across states. RK Nagar by-poll in Tamil Nadu was cancelled after cash-for-vote charges.


$5 billion

What is it? The total line of credit extended to Bangladesh by India, on its prime minister, Sheikh Hasina’s state visit to the country.

Why is it important? The new line of credit is in addition to the existing $2.86 bn committed earlier, of which 7.7% has been disbursed. It would not only help Bangladesh, but boost India’s exports to the neighbour as well, which were over $6 billion in FY16. Usually line of credit mandates a value of the contract to be sourced from India.

Tell me more: The projects include defence, energy, electronics and cyber security.


Rs 5,400 crore

What is it? The undisclosed income detected by law enforcement since demonetisation and till January 10.

Why is it important? More than 1,100 raids and 5,100 notices have ended in seizure of 11% of such income or around Rs 610 crore worth of liquid assets.

Tell me more: Out of a total of 1.8 million high-risk cases under the suspicion of undeclared income, 838,000 have sent in responses, while 378,000 are being investigated..



What is it? The maximum number of children an applicant to a government job in Assam can have, according to its new draft population policy.

Why is it important? Assam’s population grew by 17% between 2011 and 2001, lower than the national growth rate of 17.64% in the same period. Some see it as the government’s attempt to control family sizes of immigrants, mostly muslims who are believed to have moved from Bangladesh illegally.

Tell me more: The policy also seeks to deny jobs to those who married before legal age, and to provide free education to girl children.

9.24 lakh

What is it? The number of cases pending at Allahabad High Court.

Why is it important? The supreme court has now set up a two member panel that will look at reducing the pending court cases. The panel will take up one high court at a time – looking at data, analysing the causes and suggesting solutions. It will start with Allahabad High Court, which has the largest number of pending cases in the country.

Tell me more: Across 24 High Courts, over 4.5 lakh cases are pending, thanks in part to shortage of judges. Only 43.65% of the total sanctioned strength of high court judges have been filled, according to Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2015-2016. Rajasthan High Court has the oldest pending case in the country. It is pending for 61 years now.

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Price of making DND Flyway free to use amounts to Rs5,000 crore

This piece originally appeared on


The New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (Noida) will have to pay Rs.5,000 crore to the company operating the DND Flyway connecting Delhi and Noida if the government entity terminates a 30-year contract at its mid-point and takes over the toll road.

Last week, the Allahabad high court barred Noida Toll Bridge Co. Ltd, which operates the flyway, from collecting toll. The 117,000 vehicle owners using the 9.2km toll road every day save money—cars pay Rs.28 for a one-way trip.



But Noida Toll Bridge, which is promoted by IL&FS and is a listed company, is losing Rs.30 lakh a day and its market capitalization has eroded by about 30%.

The first memorandum of understanding to build a New Delhi-Noida expressway was signed under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode in 1992, a year after India initiated economic reforms. The toll road started operations in 2001.

This is a 30-year build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) contract, where Noida Toll Bridge would operate the flyway for 30 years or until it recovered its investment.




Further, it was promised an assured return of 20% on its total cost, which included the initial project cost, the running cost and the shortfall in profit.




The result: the road cost Rs.378 crore to build, but this unmet assured return of 20% has led to the total cost under the agreement spiraling to Rs.5,000 crore in 15 years.

After a slow start, DND Flyway is now reporting healthy profits with three-fourths of toll revenue coming in as profits. In 15 years, Noida Toll Bridge earned Rs.1,052 crore via toll collection and a cumulative net profit of Rs.348 crore.




Nearly eight out of 10 vehicles crossing the toll booth is a car, probably fuelled by development of residential areas in Noida and Greater Noida. Total number of vehicles crossing has increased by nearly six times in the last 15 years.


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